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  #46  
Old 09-15-2011, 09:29 PM
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Fran, regarding digital recordings you may want to read "Digital Audio Explained" by Nika Aldrich.

Regarding the Mytek comparison clips they sound the same to me and I never said different. You wanted a link to manufacturer who did a comparison and I gave you one.

I already gave my impressions (hands on) with the unit compared to my RME.

I tend to be skeptical about claims made in any area including audio. Certainly price paid does not equal results gotten in a reliable way. However I know what I have heard in my own recordings which was gear related. Also the OP link demonstrated clear differences in microphones even allowing for small volume differences.
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  #47  
Old 09-16-2011, 05:57 AM
Ty Ford Ty Ford is offline
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Originally Posted by Scott Whigham View Post
1) Because taste is subjective - the user may have come to your site to buy your converter but liked the other better. That would make no sense if your "they're all the same" idea is true but I don't agree with you and maybe they don't either.

2) To avoid lawsuits from the manufacturers of the other gear who can say you were disparaging them by intentionally making theirs look bad. Even if you weren't doing that, all that they have to do is threaten you with a lawsuit and poof! You'll take the files down stat!

I'm not a gear manufacturer so this is just speculation.
Interesting. Years ago when I started to review audio gear for trade magazines, I set about to make comparisons with known pieces when reviewing gear so the reader would get a clearer picture as to what the reviewed piece of gear sounded like. I got some resistance from editors who were concerned that if the company is used to compare was an advertiser and didn't come off as well, they might pull their ads.

Because I chose to compare features without saying which one was better, we didn't have many problems. Yes, there were a few thinned skinned manufacturers, but mostly no. (And "Thank You" to the editors and publishers who have supported my approach over the years.)

There's are a few rules that have developed in marketing. One is that making comparisons of competing gear causes the consumer to consider the "other" gear. Why waste the space advertising for the competition unless there's a compelling reason?

Regards,

Ty Ford
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  #48  
Old 09-17-2011, 12:12 AM
alohachris alohachris is offline
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Default RE: Differences in Mic's? TRUST YOUR EARS - IN PERSON

Aloha Friends,

Very, very interesting debate here among friends. Love the depth.

Ah, digital samples, digital samples. Even 'line-level matched' digital comparison samples. And we listen to those compressed files through what? Often it's through our computer speakers with, Wo! Maybe even a subwoofer? Now that's some sonic quality for discerning ears, I'll tell ya. MP3 files: the wave of the ......past, like 1930's sonic quality. So much progress in audio!

We all know what that means: It is almost impossible to hear gear critical differences, as Fran always provides evidence for, or to gauge the, as Doug said, "build quality & functionality" of any mic - solely by listening to online mic samples. Can't be done. As Kev said, he uses the online samples & shoot-outs only to narrow the field to those worth investigating. Me too.

There is only one way to audition a microphone to full satisfaction: listen to them LIVE IN REAL TIME with your ears through your rig or through a rig similar to yours. That is the only way! And preferrably in a treated space so you can really hear the details.

I'll give ya a glaring example, from experience a few years back. I have given Peluso mic's more than a cursory look for many reasons & eventually chose the P-28 tube S/D's because they are just excellent for cross-picking styles on many sizes & wood combo's of acoustic guitars. The Peluso 2247 LE is also a very nice mic on many types of voices (especially male voices, like mine), IMO.

When I was first investigating them, I really loved the sound of the affordable CEMC6 S/D's. A pair then was only about $600 from Soundpure & indeed, I believed it to be the best sounding S/D available for under $1K.

I rented a pair from a West Coast high-end store (at a low-end price) for a weekend, & put the CEMC6's through their paces for an extra day. I'm so glad I did. Because the self-noise issues (as sdelsolray had warned me) of that mic slowly made itself known - TO MY EARS - on rudimentary PTLE recordings I did. Prohibitively so.

Now, I'd loved the first-impression sound (through my Pendulum/Daedalus live rig) & the online samples I'd heard of the CEMC6. But I knew I had to return those mic's because of the noise issue (on my PTLE/003 recordings of it) & also because frankly, I did not like the build quality. It did not feel solid to me. And sometimes, me being a fogey too, I drop stuff! Gotta be solid! That's why I invested in some heavier, rollable mic stands for around my studio area. Ha!

I trusted my ears, eyes & touch on that pair of S/D's & was so glad that I did. Online samples of it had sounded great. My first impression was WOW! But it took some hands-on experimenting with placement in recording, & some listening on my rig to really get the information I needed to make a decision on that mic. Sent them back right away.

The Peluso P-28's are a much different animal. I knew they were for me very quickly. They sound just "killer" through the A-Designs Pacifica preamp. I hope players here will check them out, especially you bluegrassers & cross-pickers. (that's cross-pickers, not cross-dressers). Ha!

The moral to my Friday night tome here is obvious & one that everyone here keeps coming back to: Trust Your Ears Only When Choosing Mic's & Gear. Put an ear on the gear, not online samples.

You don't have to buy mic's just to audition them. Ya just gotta get creative as to how to put an ear on 'em to get the information you need to make a decision. It's appropriate to move away from the keyboard every once in awhile in that pursuit.

But ya just gotta love microphones on their own. They are SO beautiful & functional, even magical. And best of all, mic's are inspiring tools that spawn our creativity. Mic's can truly help bring people together in this divisive world rather than separating us (another topic).

A Hui Hou!
alohachris

BTW: Scott, I really liked your clip on the 121 & TM-1 in M-S. For me, I tend to like slower guitar movements (Fran's, Doug's & Ty's are great!) in order to hear the VERY revealing space between the notes through mic's. But your clip was very cool, sounded great, & was very well played. Bravo! -alohachris-

Last edited by alohachris; 09-17-2011 at 12:01 PM.
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  #49  
Old 09-17-2011, 02:38 AM
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I think one reason mics are so fascinating is that, even tho in a typical shootout the differences are subtle, they are tools, and do act somewhat differently in practice. One thing you can't get from a single shootout where you try to treat each mic the same is how it will respond in different locations. We talked about placement - how some mics seem to be really finicky and others sound good no matter where you put them. That won't come out in a recorded test. Of course, it might be all imagination, but when you're trying to make music, it doesn't hurt to have a little element of magic floating around, no matter how irrational it might be.

When I first got my Brauners, I noticed that they seemed to be more sensitive to little noises across the room. With the Schoeps and Brauners both set to the same level for my guitar in front of them, flipping on a light switch across the room made the meters on the Brauner channel jump dramatically, while the Schoeps barely moved. I interpreted that as the Brauner's being "more sensitive" somehow, tho it didn't really make sense to me. Fran wrote a blog article about this, where, if I recall correctly (and understand correctly) he theorized that what I was really seeing was the result of different off-axis response between the two mics. That of course is a real difference in behavior that might or might not make a difference in the sound of the mics when I sit them side-by-side and try to do a close-mic'd comparison test, but might indeed make a difference in the way the mics act (for better or worse) as I'm placing them in different ways.

On the other hand, you have to remember how most people listen to music these days. When we're recording, we're worrying about every little detail - trying to carve out a 0.001% improvement in sound. I know I am :-) And then people listen to the results on a ipod while they're at the gym, driving in the car with the windows down, or at a party with 20 people talking, if they listen at all!. Will they hear the difference between good gear and mediocre? I'd like to think so, but it's probably not going to happen.
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  #50  
Old 09-17-2011, 02:42 AM
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By the way, someone sent me a link to this video today, a demo of Cascade Ribbon mics:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MRyStdaFvYE

Beautiful sound. Is it the mics, the room, the rest of the gear, or the playing? I don't know, but it's worth a listen, and if you're like me, it'll make you want to run out and buy the entire line of Cascade mics :-)
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  #51  
Old 09-17-2011, 05:00 AM
Ty Ford Ty Ford is offline
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"The moral to my Friday night tome here is obvious & one that everyone here keeps coming back to: Trust Your Ears Only When Choosing Mic's & Gear."

Anyone who's been at this a while knows how their ears have grown. I'll add, grow your ears so you can trust them.

Regards,

Ty Ford
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  #52  
Old 09-17-2011, 06:09 AM
Joseph Hanna Joseph Hanna is offline
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Originally Posted by Doug Young View Post
Beautiful sound. Is it the mics, the room, the rest of the gear, or the playing? I don't know, but it's worth a listen
First and above all for me the guy plays stunningly and I kinda get wonderfully lost in the tune itself. The playing and tone simply trumps anything that might end up a part of the equipment equation.

I'd guess the room and mics certainly play a grand role here but converters and pre's I think not so much. It of course follows however that a guy that talented, with a tune that wonderful, in a room that good, with mics of that quality, the chain downstream is likely to be good.

Wonderful stuff.
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  #53  
Old 09-17-2011, 06:53 AM
Ty Ford Ty Ford is offline
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Let's not get romanced by the video.

He's got 3 mics up there, so unless there's info from somewhere else that states the Cascade is the only mic being used.....no, it's not a cascade demo.

Great, soulful playing. Excellent video and it's at least a 2 camera shoot that's well lit, so part of the enjoyment is the attention to video and lighting. So this is not a "Think I'll just sit down and play a tune" candid video. It's well thought out from a lot of different technical perspectives; acoustics, audio, lighting and video.

We don't really know what other gear was used and/or how good it was, so I don't get where you get to conclude that mic pres and A/D aren't part of the success.

We assume the room is good because the sound is good. It might be a very tricky room that few people can do something properly.

Regards,

Ty Ford
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  #54  
Old 09-17-2011, 07:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ty Ford View Post
Let's not get romanced by the video.

He's got 3 mics up there, so unless there's info from somewhere else that states the Cascade is the only mic being used.....no, it's not a cascade demo.
This video is on the Cascade site as part of their advertising. There's a second version labeled "Cascade Demo", showing each mic as it's being used. And cycling thru for comparison, with an AKG 414 as a reference. (Incidentally, to me the 414 reference parts sound quieter, perhaps a mistake, or perhaps a deliberate attempt to make it sound weaker? You can also really hear the difference in the stereo when the X-15 kicks in. )

In any case, a stunning performance, perhaps making the case that performance trumps gear.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7j5RpjAHK3I

Summary from the You Tube info:

This is a video demonstration of 4 different models of Cascade Ribbon microphones on an acoustic source, in this case a Tony Francis Weissenborn played by Thomas Oliver.

The 4 microphones are a Fathead I, Fathead I + Lundahl Transformer, Joly Edition and the X-15. We also recorded a vintage AKG C414 BULS as a reference microphone.

We recorded 3 takes all to a click so the mic's could be solo'd over one video. There are small visual sync discrepancies. (if you look hard)

In each take we recorded the 414, the demo Cascade in question and the X-15.

The audio cycles through each of the mic's and them all 3 at once, it does this 3 times once for each ribbon. Fathead I, Fathead I + Lundahl and Joly.

It was recorded @ 96k in Pro Tools HD 8 thru Aurora converters, pre amps are Buzz Audio Elixirs.

Recorded by Troy Kelly @ STL Audio Wellington, NZ
www.stlaudio.co.nz
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Last edited by Doug Young; 09-17-2011 at 07:12 AM.
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  #55  
Old 09-17-2011, 07:25 AM
Joseph Hanna Joseph Hanna is offline
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Quote:
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Let's not get romanced by the video.

That's just so counter-intuitive to me. In the end what else is there other than the performance?
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  #56  
Old 09-17-2011, 07:34 AM
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That's just so counter-intuitive to me. In the end what else is there other than the performance?
yeah, exactly. The point wasn't really the mics. This performance and sound was just so stunning I had to share. And nice to have some detailed info on how it was recorded, but really, I just sat here and played it over and over... It kind of shows what's really important.
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  #57  
Old 09-17-2011, 07:38 AM
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Regarding that recording don't overlook the instrument being recorded, the music being played,
and the tuning the instrument is being played in.

In this case we has a Weissenborn guitar, lazy tune tempo, open tuning, slide guitar style. All
that can help get an appealing recording.
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  #58  
Old 09-17-2011, 07:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rick-slo View Post
Regarding that recording don't overlook the instrument being recorded, the music being played,
and the tuning the instrument is being played in.

In this case we has a Weissenborn guitar, lazy tune tempo, open tuning, slide guitar style. All
that can help get an appealing recording.
Yes, the 1st step (and most critical) is having something great to record. Everything else (like mic selection) pales in comparison.
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  #59  
Old 09-17-2011, 08:03 AM
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Nice clip Doug That's been added to my bookmarks.

I think one of the things that makes me prick up my ears is a mic with a reputation for being versatile. If it's good on a range of instruments that must mean there's something fundamentally right about the way it's capturing audio.

That pushes you towards neutral, accurate mics rather than coloured which IMO is a Good Thing but it's more than that. Mics aren't just a kind of EQ. I'd expect a versatile mic to have a more "sophisticated" sound... I don't know how to explain. How do you talk about audio? I mean things like depth, richness, sweetness, detail, sparkle... I'd expect a mic with a reputation for being versatile to be doing all that a little bit better than its competitors.
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  #60  
Old 09-17-2011, 05:33 PM
Joseph Hanna Joseph Hanna is offline
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I'm still utterly and ridiculously moved by this performance. I bet I've listened 40 times today.

All the "stuff" we talk about here neatly distilled and presented in a moment. Wonderful is a titanic understatement.
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